Over the course of a five-year career, John Wall has made so many impressions on the basketball floor, and just about all of them have been positive. From the opening Dougie act, to managing a 16-and-9 stat line in his first three seasons despite The Goof Troop for a supporting cast, to his back-to-back All-Star appearances and playoff runs, Wall has done just about all he’s could to help lift this Washington franchise out of a rubble of incompetence.
But as is the case with any world-class athlete, their actions off the playing course is what defines their human character, and to me, that’s equally important as their actions on it. These athletes who use their God-given abilities to achieve success and make millions are also granted the opportunity to give back in a way so many others can’t, and in a way so many of the less fortunate embrace and are grateful for. John Wall embodies all of that, and it’s simply amazing to see.
Today, the NBA recognized John for his insurmountably positive presence in the community with the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of October. Wall’s response to the award couldn’t have been a better one. In fact, it should be engraved in the minds of every professional athlete who’s privileged enough to impact the lives of those who are not so privileged:
“I was not put on this earth just to be a basketball player. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate, and support them in any way I can.”
Full props and a *100 emoji* for you, John.
Wall will be recognized for his service in the community tonight during the Wizards-Bucks game by NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier and Ted Leonsis. As part of the ceremony, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 to the John Wall Family Foundation.
Here is the full Wizards press release:
WASHINGTON WIZARDS’ JOHN WALL RECEIVES
OCTOBER NBA CARES COMMUNITY ASSIST AWARD
PRESENTED BY KAISER PERMANENTE
– NBA and Kaiser Permanente to donate $10,000 to the John Wall Family Foundation –
NEW YORK, Nov. 17, 2015 – Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has received the October NBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by Kaiser Permanente in recognition of his support and dedication to youth, the NBA announced today. The award recognizes an NBA player each month who best reflects the passion that the league and its players share for giving back to their communities.
Kaiser Permanente and the NBA are honoring Wall for his many charitable efforts to positively impact the lives of children in Washington, D.C., and his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. After losing a friend, 5-year-old DaMiyah Telemaque-Nelson, to Burkitt’s lymphoma, Wall made a generous donation toward non-Hodgkin lymphoma research. He also sponsored the “Miyah’s Troupe” walking team, and joined DaMiyah’s family in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk in D.C.
In addition to supporting DaMiyah’s family this preseason, Wall held his annual #2SQUAD Back to School distribution, providing new backpacks filled with school supplies to 600 students from Raleigh and D.C. In partnership with the John Wall Family Foundation, Wall funded the Passport to Manhood Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington, which uses interactive activities and service projects to teach adolescent boys responsibility, leadership and the importance of giving back. Wall also visited D.C.’s Bright Beginnings Inc. (BBI), a non-profit that provides shelter, education and meals to homeless children and their parents. Wall surprised BBI with a donation to support existing programming and the opening of a new facility.
“I was not put on this earth just to be a basketball player,” said Wall. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate, and support them in any way I can.”
During tonight’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier, Owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis and a Kaiser Permanente representative will present Wall with the David Robinson award during an oncourt ceremony. In addition, Kaiser Permanente and the NBA will donate $10,000 on Wall’s behalf to the John Wall Family Foundation.